Simon Cowell says Sharon Osbourne is a hit with X Factor 2013 judges & praises One Direction

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Hours after his night out with Louis Walsh, Simon Cowell has praised the return of Sharon Osbourne to the X Factor judging panel.

The former X Factor judge and music mogul spoke with BBC Radio 2’s Steve Wright this afternoon, and revealed that Sharon Osbourne has been a massive hit with the current mentors.

Simon said in the interview that he had spoken with Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger and that they were all very happy with their new co-star.

He said: “Sharon’s come back and already apparently had made a huge difference.

“Louis is happy, Gary is happy and Nicole is happy. It’s got off to a good start!”

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And with the renewal of Cowell’s apparent £20m contract looming, there was one thing on the music mogul’s mind, ratings.

Speaking about the drop in ratings of the X Factor in recent years he said: “There’ve been years where we’ve been beaten by Strictly [Come Dancing], and I think that competition is healthy.”

He went on to reveal that a lot of things have been changed in this years series of the X Factor, saying: “We’ve changed a lot of things on X Factor this year. We now start the auditions in small rooms this time which is what people asked for.”

He adds: “So I do actually listen to what people say, so if that’s what people want then we’ll change it.”

Cowell also spoke about the recent successes of the X Factor, Olly Murs, Little Mix and One Direction.

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About One Direction and Little Mix: “We never predicted this [their fame]. All we knew was we had five talented guys. They’re very smart these contestants, they knew the kind of records they wanted to make.”

He also added: “Olly Murs is exactly the same guy as when I first met him, he hasn’t changed one bit, and I love that!

“As long as you keep everybody grounded, I say ‘all I can promise you is an opportunity’, and to take that opportunity and make the most of it.”

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